Report of an interdisciplinary course in product design education

G. J. Contreras, Kin Wai Michael Siu (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Interdisciplinarity refers to the process of addressing a topic or problem from the angle of different disciplines or sciences, not just one. Typically, those who promote interdisciplinarity argue that the complexity of modern societies demands an interdisciplinary approach to problem-solving. This claim has gained traction in the field of Product Design in recent years, with some scholars and commentators arguing that technological, social, and economic changes have made the process to develop new products more collaborative. At the same time, however, there is a sense that universities focus on training specialists, and that there is a need for new pedagogies. Interdisciplinarity, however, can be understood—and implemented—in different ways. Should students be trained in a wide range of subjects? Or so that they can function in an interdisciplinary team? Different views can result in substantially different educational experiences and sets of skills. This chapter outlines some aspects of the process to facilitate interdisciplinarity in a course involving product design and engineering students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of research on transdisciplinary knowledge generation
EditorsV. X. Wang
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherIGI Global
ISBN (Electronic)9781522595328
ISBN (Print)9781522595311
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


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